Perry Mason (1957–1966)
6 user

The Case of the Angry Dead Man 

A man who nearly drowns learns it is believed he is dead. Because he recently found he is dying, he decides to stay dead so his wife can collect his insurance. However, she is charged later when he is found shot dead after calling her.


Arthur Marks


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Michael Morris


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Gloria Talbott ... Eve Nesbitt
Edward Binns ... Lloyd Castle
Les Tremayne ... Willard Nesbitt
Gordon Jones ... Deputy Gillis
Carol Ohmart ... Jenny Bartlett
James Millhollin ... Ben Otis
Frank Ferguson ... Prof. Laiken
Naomi Stevens ... Fanny Werbler
Karl Held Karl Held ... Bruce Nesbitt
Wally Brown ... John Givney




After Willard Nesbitt falls out of his fishing boat, he is presumed to have drowned. His wife Eve knows little about their financial situation or his business interests and so seeks Perry Mason's assistance. Her husband was in the process of liquidating his business partnership with Lloyd Castle who had offered a $10,000 settlement to Nesbitt but Nesbitt never signed the contract. Castle forges Nesbitt's signature and gives Mason the $10,000 for Eve. She also gets to cash in her husband's insurance which had a double indemnity clause in case of accidental death. When Castle's company announces a major mining find just after breaking up the partnership, Perry suggests that the signature on the contract may not be Nesbitt's. The case takes a sudden and bizarre twist however when, weeks after his disappearance, Willard Nesbitt is found dead in his home having been killed only a few hours earlier. He had seen the mining news and called Eve to meet him. Eve is charged with murder and Perry... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery



Did You Know?


Karl Held would play legal intern David Gideon in the fifth season. See more »


When Mason was testing Fanny Werbler's memory, the judge should have said "Let the record show that defense counsel has turned his back to the witness" for the benefit of the court reporter. See more »


[last lines]
Perry Mason: [handwriting expert] Well, it's all as clear as crystal to me.
Perry Mason: What is?
Prof. Laiken: [referring to Della's handwriting] In this girl's handwriting, I can see loyalty, perseverance, and hunger. Especially hunger. And your client doesn't look too well fed, either. And if you could read my writing, you'd see that I'm starved, also. And, from your handwriting, I can tell that you're a very rich man who can afford the finest restaurant in town.
See more »

User Reviews

Good mystery that holds the viewers interest
5 July 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This could have been an episode where the courtroom testimony could hinder the shows connection to the viewer. Whenever we have someone called to the witness stand to testify on handwriting signatures that include documents and checks, it can get boring real fast. But in this show they find a way to keep the mystery interesting and the viewer entertained - and the testimony will produce a gallery confession that will lead to charges being dropped on Perry's client.

The episode begins as Willard Nesbitt, a part owner of a investment and mining company, has been reported drowned while on a local boating outing. The truth is that Mr Nesbitt had survived but due to his poor health and the double indemnity insurance feels better for his wife's financial situation and goes off to live the last few months of his life away from the grind of work.

However a few days later, after discovering gold in a parcel of land, his partner, Loyd Castle, has a document that claims Nesbitt dissolved the partnership for $10,000 and that is all the money that Eva Nesbitt (Willard's wife) is entitled. And Eva goes to see Perry to make sure that she will be paid something from the company.

Well it only takes a few more days when Willard, living outside of town, reads where the company hit gold and realized that his wife is being shafted. But the next day he is really found dead from a gunshot wound and all the evidence points to Eva as the shooter. Perry will defend her in court for the charges brought by Hamilton Burger's office.

A good mystery with many suspects. With a good cast and a good mystery- it makes the episode a good watch for viewers.

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Release Date:

25 February 1961 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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